Department of Defense: Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for Military Personnel
GAO-16-302R: Dec 17, 2015
- Full Report:
GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) new rule on the Transition Assistance Program for military personnel. GAO found that (1) the final rule establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for administration of the DOD Transition Assistance Program, which has the goal of preparing eligible members of the military services for a transition to civilian life, including preparing them to meet Career Readiness Standards; and (2) DOD complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.
December 17, 2015
The Honorable Johnny Isakson
The Honorable Richard Blumenthal
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
United States Senate
The Honorable Jeff Miller
The Honorable Corrine Brown
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
House of Representatives
Subject: Department of Defense: Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for Military Personnel
Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated by the Department of Defense (DOD) entitled “Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for Military Personnel” (RIN: 0790-AJ17). We received the rule on December 2, 2015. It was published in the Federal Register as an interim final rule on November 30, 2015. 80 Fed. Reg. 74,678.
The interim final rule establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for administration of the DOD Transition Assistance Program, which has the goal of preparing eligible members of the military services for a transition to civilian life, including preparing them to meet Career Readiness Standards (CRS).
Enclosed is our assessment of DOD’s compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review of the procedural steps taken indicates that DOD complied with the applicable requirements.
If you have any questions about this report or wish to contact GAO officials responsible for the evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule, please contact Shirley A. Jones, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8156.
Robert J. Cramer
Managing Associate General Counsel
cc: Patricia Toppings
OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer
Department of Defense
REPORT UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(2)(A) ON A MAJOR RULE
ISSUED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
“TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (tap)
FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL”
(i) Cost-benefit analysis
The Department of Defense (DOD) prepared a cost-benefit analysis in conjunction with the interim final rule. DOD stated that its costs to implement the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for fiscal year 2014 were $85 million, which included civilian and contractor staff salaries and benefits, equipment, computers, information technology and architecture, data collection and sharing, web site development, performance evaluation and assessments, curriculum development and modification, materials, facilitation training, research, studies and surveys. DOD states that it is dependent upon other federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor, Small Business Administration, Department of Education, and the Office of Personnel Management, to deliver TAP to transitioning service members and that DOD cannot estimate the costs for its interagency partners. DOD described the qualitative benefits of the interim final rule, which include benefits to service members of increased career readiness, and benefits to communities across the country that will receive more educated, better-trained, and more prepared citizens when separating service members return to communities.
(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605, 607, and 609
DOD determined that the interim final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535
DOD determined that the interim final rule will not mandate any requirements for state, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
The notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act do not apply to rules involving a military function of the United States. 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1). However, DOD states that it is providing the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the rule because it is being published to redesign the two-decades-old program and make Post 9/11 transitioning service members career ready.
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520
DOD determined that the interim final rule does not contain information collection requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
Statutory authorization for the rule
The interim final rule is authorized by Chapter 58 of title 10 of the U.S. Code.
Executive Order No. 12,866 (Regulatory Planning and Review)
The interim final rule has been designated as an “economically significant regulatory action” under the Order and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
Executive Order No. 13,132 (Federalism)
DOD determined that the interim final rule will not have a substantial effect on state and local governments.